On November 4th, 2016 electro-industrial outfit Dead When I Found Her released a new record and follow up to last year’s “All The Way Down” via Artoffact Records. Unlike the 2015 effort, DWIFH is more aggressive and, at times, more danceable than its predecessor. I quite like the new vibe on this album, so without further ado, let’s get right into this album known as “Eyes On Backwards”.
I first became aware of DWIFH in 2013 when “Rag Doll Blues” had only been out for a couple of months, since then I’ve heard every record from that point on. One thing I really like about it is there’s always something new to be excited for with every release. This time around I like the anger every track exudes; Dead When I Found Her really unleashes the demon note by note not just in a musical sense, but also with lyrics and whatnot. There are melody changes, more electronic elements, more guitar riffing, etc.
Michael Arthur Holloway began the industrial project Dead When I Found Her in 2008 as a way to bring back the nostalgia of music he grew up on from the 80’s and 90’s. Two years later when “Harm’s Way” debut, the press went crazy and the rest was history. Holloway’s musical influences ranged from Doubting Thomas, Mentallo & The Fixer and of course, Skinny Puppy.
“Eyes on Backwards is a blistering album. Those expecting another introverted, soul-crushing opus are in for quite a shock: the record opens with the furious Tantrum, and before you catch your breath lays it on heavy with DWIFH’s densest material to date: The Big Reverse digs deep into Skinny Puppy-esque territory, with sample nods to the masters and Holloway’s distinctive voice rages harder than you’re accustomed to. And then you’re just two songs in. The material is denser, in a way easier to digest, but at the same time more dangerous, more vicious; a hound in hell rather than hell itself.”
It’s the latter aforementioned band that has had a massive influence on this new album, even as instant as the opening song “Tantrum” where you hear a lot of what’d you expect in a Puppy track, perhaps from the 80’s. It has it all, even the signature DWIFH voice clips Holloway often samples. The way he sings often mimics Nivek Orger’s vocals, along with a dark atmosphere encapsulates Skinny Puppy at its finest. All of this is set to a backdrop of dark ambiance that is also rhythmic and great for a night out at the nearest Goth club.
“Unsolved History” is a very interesting song in that as I said before, has melody changes from beginning to end. It starts out as dark and haunting, eventually finding its groove towards the end where it rolls out into an electronic all-out dancer. Synths are on point as is the organ coming in from time to time; I like how all the instrumentation can coexist together and not sound tacky. The dynamics in this song are quite superb especially by the last minute or so where speed begins to pick up. It’s well done!
“The Pines” is another cool track where the focus is mainly on instrumentals. Holloway puts his singing to rest, and instead, substitutes it with vocal sample clips on loop. The music is quite downbeat yet allows the listener to concentrate on great musicianship instead of just Holloway all the time. This track is solid!
If you like Dead When I Found Her’s previous work, then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy “Eyes On Backwards” just as much. My only gripes are how much Holloway is focusing on mimicking Skinny Puppy as well as some songs sounding so ‘samey’ as other past songs, but since music and all art are subjective, I guess you’ll have to give it a listen yourself.
Special editions of “Eyes On Backwards” are on sale for a limited time via Storming the Base, so grab yours while it lasts.
“Eyes on Backwards is released as a standard CD with booklet. A limited edition splatter version will also be available in 200 copies, as well as a version on black vinyl.”
Follow Dead When I Found Her on Facebook and Twitter (@DWIFH_Music)